Ubuntu · Setting up JAVA_HOME environment variable

Ubuntu · Setting up JAVA_HOME environment variable


Note: This was tested on 12.04, but should work for later versions as well.

Note: This works for Oracle’s Java installed through an external repository (you can the find instructions here on the site). Do your own search for other installations.

Installation for Bash

First you need to edit your Unix user’s config file that contains your environment variables and your access path. My editor is Sublime Text (find installation on the site here). Any other editor that supports command line is fine as well (like GEdit, nano, vim, etc).

By default, your Ubuntu comes with bash. Open a file called .bashrc in your Home directory:

sudo sublime-text ~/.bashrc

Then, add the following lines to the end of your config file:

export JAVA_HOME

Shorter version is:

export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle

but this doesn’t work on all versions of Bash. When done editing, save the file and re-source the config files:

source ~/.bashrc

or shorter:

. ~/.bashrc

Optionally (almost never necessary), you can restart the machine:

sudo reboot now


In case you’re using zsh instead of bash, your config file will be ~/.zshrc instead – but since you have z-shell you probably already know that.